Dissassembling BENDIS's Remaining MARVEL Work

Marvel Comics January 2018 cover
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

Brian Michael Bendis' 17-year tenure with Marvel Comics is coming to a close with news that the Portland-based writer has signed a "multiyear, multi-faceted" exclusive deal with DC Entertainment. But while speculation of what Bendis will do at DC will dominate the news cycle, the author has four ongoing titles at Marvel he'll be wrapping up, as well as Punisher: End of Days and several unfinished creator-owned titles.

An additional wrinkle to this is that Bendis is involved (as co-creator) of several Marvel projects developed for TV and movies. The second season of Netflix's Jessica Jones is scheduled for release in 2018, and Sony Pictures Animation's Miles Morales Spider-Man movie is scheduled as one of 2018's big holiday movies.

Here's a rundown of what Bendis' remaining Marvel projects are:

Credit: Marvel Comics

Jessica Jones: Bendis reunited with co-creator Michael Gaydos for this series in October 2016, following the successful TV adaptation on Netflix. Marvel had specifically said it was restricting other creators from working on Jones-related projects to allow Bendis full latitude to revive the character in comic books, and has done 13 issues to date (14 if you include the free digital issue done in tandem with the show).

Credit: Marvel Comics

Defenders: Spinning out of Civil War II, Bendis and frequent collaborator David Marquez revamped this Marvel team in-light of the then-upcoming Netflix TV series. Thematically, the story picked up several threads from Bendis' earlier New Avengers run, and reunited him with one of his self-professed favorite characters, Luke Cage. Six issues of Defenders have come out so far.

Spider-Man: Between a few renumberings, a few deaths, and a jump from the Ultimate Universe, in many ways Spider-Man is Bendis' longest-running Marvel title by a significant margin. Bendis co-created Miles Morales back in 2011, and eventually dovetailed him into his even longer-running Ultimate Spider-Man title to replace the deceased Peter Parker. That carried through Secret Wars to make Morales a Marvel U mainstay, and the character has graduated to non-comics projects topped by a December 2018 Sony Pictures Animation feature film.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Invincible Iron Man: Bendis relaunched Iron Man in the wake of Secret Wars in 2015 with Invincible Iron Man, with Marvel officially pegging the Armored Avenger as its flagship hero. Over the course of 26 issues (with a renumbering), a side series starring Doctor Doom, Bendis eschewed Stark out of the armor and inserted a new star for the title named RiRi Williams (a.k.a. Ironheart). Bendis' long-running storyline appears to be close to coming full circle, as he and others have teased Stark's return from a Civil War II coma to once again become Iron Man in the coming months.

Punisher: End of Days: Back in June, Bendis revealed that he was working on a "side-quel" to his Daredevil: End of Days miniseries focused on the Punisher. No details about the artist or schedule have been released.

Credit: Marvel Comics/Icon

In addition to that, Bendis has several creator-owned projects with Marvel's Icon imprint including new issues of Powers and United States of Murder with Michael Avon Oeming, along with a continuation of Scarlet with Alex Maleev. Scarlet is already optioned for a Cinemax TV series.

While some "exclusive" deals in the past have carved-out room for creators to continue their creator-owned work, history has shown that former Marvel exclusive writers have always moved their Icon projects elsewhere when they leave the House of Ideas.

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